Apple zigs while the Dow zags. Hits intraday high of $422.86

September 20, 2011: 7:33 AM ET

When the rest of the market is tanking, the company's shares offer a relatively safe haven

On Monday, when the Dow opened down $250, Apple (AAPL) rose $11.13 (2.78%) to close at a new record $411.63. On Tuesday, Apple opened at $415.35 and hit $422.86 shortly after noon.

UPDATE: Apple closed Tuesday nearly where it started, at $413.45, up $1.82 (.44%) for the day.

To put Monday's close in perspective:

  • Apple shares were up 49.5% over 12 months and 10.14% since Steve Jobs resigned as CEO
  • Apple's market cap ($381.62 billion) exceeded Exxon Mobil's (XOM) by $23.28 billion. Three months ago it trailed Exxon by $50 billion
  • Apple's valuation is approaching that of Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) combined ($404.48 billion)
  • Even at Monday's record close, Apple's P/E ratio (16.29) was smaller than Google's 19.72 and was dwarfed by Amazon's (AMZN) 106.56

On CNBC's Mad Money, Jim Cramer suggested that the reason the U.S. markets have escaped the gravitational pull of Europe is "iUSA. That's right, it's the United States of Apple!

"What caused AAPL to break out this morning? I think there's an emerging consensus that, once again, the earnings estimates for AAPL are too low. Perhaps way too low. Maybe criminally too low." (video)

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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